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    Sister-Dana2Sister Dana sez, “The Democratic Presidential Campaign is getting nasty. C’mon, we’re better than that. “

    Sister-Dana2Sister Dana sez, “The Democratic Presidential Campaign is getting nasty. C’mon, we’re better than that. Let’s not stoop to Repugnican ways. Just tell us your platform and explain how you’re going to implement it. Play nice, please!”

    The SAN FRANCISCO LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER held their epic SOIREE! entitled: THE IMAGINARIUM:  queers and allies of San Francisco celebrating the creative power of our community’s imaginative minds. “Ours is a flourishing, growing community that has a visionary and revolutionary pulse,” said Center Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe. “At the Center, we know that the collective power of our queer community to imagine and create is immeasurable. Soiree 2016 summons us to unleash our creative powers. To imagine a better future for rising generations.” Held at Terra Gallery, the evening began with a cocktail reception and a few dozen delightful drag queens dancing and carrying on between tables. Entertainment was curated by their Entertainment Director Juanita MORE!, food from our favorite SF restaurants was served, and bars were helmed by some of our beloved Castro bartenders. Senator Mark Leno presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Center. Rolfe spoke excitedly of upcoming plans to expand and renovate the Center building. The night was made lively by Joe Wicht on piano and DJ Sergio Ferdasz spinning for the after-party. They raised $100,000 that will go directly to fund the Center’s services and cultural programs. “Thank you for imagining possibilities for a stronger and healthier community with us, and for investing in the lives of tens of thousands of community members who use the Center each day to connect with one another and who find resources and opportunities to thrive,” said Rolfe. “Imagine where we can go from here.”

    THRILLPEDDLERS presents THE UNTAMED STAGE: Weimar Berlin Kabarett, a world premiere of a new musical by Scrumbly Koldewyn at the Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street, EssEff. This wild show runs now through May 28, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 8 pm. Music & Lyrics, Concept & Musical Direction by Scrumbly Koldewyn, an original Cockette, which means you’re in for a helluva lotta fun and drag for daze! Directed by Russell Blackwood (Thrillpeddlers artistic director). Act 1 is a Weimar Berlin-inspired cabaret with song, dances, and rude comedy recreating a bygone era in the shocking Thrillpeddlers’/Cockettes’ tradition. You will see lovely lesbians, a trio of dancing exposing exhibitionists, a devil, a pickpocket, drag queens, and a few who have tried and done everything.

    Act 2 is actually a one-act cabaret musical parable (entitled “The German thing To Do: or How a Cow Changes History”) on the themes of belonging, sex-roles, pseudoscience, fascism, and fear mongering. Visual delights include young male lovers, nudists, and a cow that becomes increasingly self-aware and just might change the course of history.

    The Untamed Stage derives its name from Trude Hesterberg’s Berlin-based cabaret, which the performer founded in 1921. At the end of WWI, Kaiser Wilhelm’s repressive government was replaced by the Weimar Republic, whose new constitution allowed for no censorship. Berlin kabarett suddenly produced a flowering of politically, socially, and sexually provocative material, in a movement that flourished until Hitler’s ascension in 1933 when most of the performers either left the country or were suppressed. The intimate cabaret theatres became mouthpieces for various artistic movements and social critics, dada-ist anarchists, and anti-nationalists. But they also provided pure entertainment, as typified by the Holler reviews, which could be likened to pocket-sized Ziegfeld Follies. This kabarett is much bawdier, naughtier, and haughtier than the stage show/movie Cabaret. The talented cast includes David Bicha, Cameron Eng, Nkechi Emeruwa, John Flaw, Zelda Koznofski, Noah Haydon, Kim Larsen, Bruna Palmeiro, Steven Satyricon, CJ Smith, Rochelle Urban, Jason Wade, Crystal Why, and Diogo Zavadzki.  Guest performers during the 7 week run include: Steve Bolinger, Damien Chacona, Leigh Crow, Lisa McHenry, Carly Ozard, Suzanne Ramsey (Kitten on the Keys), Tina Sogliuzzo, and Andy Wenger. I guarantee that at the end of the show, you will go out enthusiastically singing the extremely catchy Ich Bin Berliner!

    ARTSAVESLIVES STUDIO, an unusual gallery in the heart of the Castro, 518 Castro Street, held a festive reception to meet the many artists involved with this magnificent exhibit of male artists. SF artist Thomasina De Maio has curated this spectacular show, which remains all month long until the next exhibition. There was local talent entertaining in dance form: working in a big box was Jose Cital, a masked Grace Towers, and executing a flawless flamenco was Damien Alvarez. The theme was “Men in the Castro when it all began,” featuring among others, Tim Burns, Michael Levin, Renato Robles, Jack Stelnikki, Henry Martinez, Jack Mattingly, Larry Bruderer, and Ara Bedoyan with photos, painting, ceramics, and assemblage.

    Marriage Equality USA celebrated 20 years of grassroots activism and the fulfillment of its mission at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts with a celebration for current and former volunteers, donors, allies and community partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Special guests included Senator Mark Leno, California marriage plaintiffs and fellow San Francisco Bay Times columnists Stuart Gaffney & John Lewis, and former MEUSA and MECA leader Molly McKay.

    The 21st SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL takes place June 2–5 at the glorious Castro Theatre. This year’s edition is jam-packed with new film discoveries and restorations, and many of our favorite musicians will be back—as well as some new faces! As a sort of teasing of the upcoming, the Festival held a reception at the McRoskey Mattress Factory, which will also be the site of their opening reception on June 2 at 9 pm, 1687 Market at Gough Streets. In the Girls Will Be Boys category, I highly recommend two cross-dressing films on June 5 at noon. For more info, search silentfilm.org

    Before LGBTQ Pride, before gay marriage, before Harvey Milk…there was Harry Hay! We joined CALAMUS in a private home to celebrate the anniversary of the 104th birthday of activist, theorist, visionary, comrade, and modern Gay movement founder Harry Hay. (For added measure he also dreamed up the Radical Faeries!) Throughout the evening we had cake and enjoyed birthday singing, a showing of the 2002 documentary about Harry, Hope Along The Wind, and sharing stories about Harry. calamusfellowship.org

    SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS (SFGMC with 300 proud gay men) and Dr. Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director, presented the spring concert for Season 38: Expect The Unexpected – TALES OF OUR CITY: OUR LIVES, OUR HEROES at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. It was 40 years ago when author Armistead Maupin penned the very first article that became the international phenomenon of Tales Of The City, bringing the colorful life and times of San Francisco to the entire world. Maupin joined SFGMC for an evening full of stories and music about our home and its heroes, while revisiting this magical work of literature, including the very emotional coming out story, “Michael’s Letter to Mama.” Maupin delighted us with his many really amusing anecdotes. Act I included excerpts from NakedMan, the groundbreaking multi-movement piece originally commissioned and performed by the Chorus in 1996, which chronicled the lives and loves of the men of SFGMC against the backdrop of the AIDS pandemic. Act II included excerpts from the wildly popular commissioned work I Am Harvey Milk by composer Andrew Lippa, which SFGMC premiered in 2013. Especially delicious was “Friday Night in the Castro,” with authentic Castro Clones taking the solos. “Tired of the Silence” was inspirational and could very well be an anthem for queer activism. Tales Of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes also presented a world premiere by SFGMC Composer-In-Residence James Eakin. Accompanying the Chorus for the entire evening was an impressive 65-piece BAY AREA RAINBOW SYMPHONY.

    We had a BALL with our KREWE DE KINQUE Mardi Gras club (which meets every Third Saturday at the Edge) BEER & SODA BUST! At the April event we presented a BIG CHECK to JAZZIE’S PLACE LGBTQ Homeless Shelter, our beneficiary from Bal MasqueXIII & past year’s efforts. The $10 Beer & Food Bust included unlimited beer/soda refills 4–7 pm, and a tasty plate of Chile Mac & Cheese & healthy Chopped Salad made by Queen V Cockatielia for only a $5 donation. And let’s not forget Nicole Monsoon’s Fresh-Baked Cookies! She made two kinds for everyone: Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter! YUM! Helping to host this month was KDK Queen VII, Sr. Dana Van Iquity, joined by our current reigning King & Queen XIII Sergio Fedasz & China Silk! China and Grand Duchess Kylie Minono provided luscious live entertainment (Kylie really did a number on Adele’s “Hello,” adding her hysterical telephone soundtrack of an irate, cursing caller on the line, while the painful pleasure of SPANKS for Charity was accomplished by King XII Joe Prince Wolfe. Do come by every Third Saturday and enjoy the fun with us! “Let the good times roll,” as they say in N’Orleans. Sister Dana will be the door whore as usual – collecting the bust bucks and donations.

    COMING UP!!!

    Join ACADEMY OF FRIENDS for a very special ART & WINE AUCTION at Clift Hotel’s Velvet Room on Wednesday, April 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. They will be featuring artwork from local artists for you to bid on as well as some unique wines. While at the event, enjoy craft cocktails and bites. The monies raised support HIV/AIDS Services throughout the Bay Area. This year’s 2016 beneficiaries include AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), San Francisco Suicide Prevention’s HIV/AIDS Nightline, Maitri Compassionate Care, Positive Resource Center, Project Inform, and Project Open Hand.
    academyoffriends.org

    MAITRI’s BLISS 2016 GALA is on Sunday, May 1, at the Mission Bay Conference Center-UCSF, 1675 Owens Street at 4 pm. The proceeds of this inspiring event go directly towards the compassionate care of Maitri’s residents. Maitri is the only AIDS-specific residential care facility in California focusing on the underserved community of those dying of or severely debilitated by AIDS. Maitri provides compassionate residential care to men and women in need of hospice or 24-hour care and cultivates the deepest respect and love for life among its residents and caregivers. They strive to provide the type of care that each of us would like to receive at the end of our lives—care that is dignified, non-judgmental, unconditional. The event is hosted by the hilarious comedian Leslie Jordan. Emmy award winning actor/comedian Leslie Jordan will be the MC/Host for Bliss 2016. Ballet troupe Man Dance Company, guitarist Andre Morgan, Oakland jazz vocalist Branice McKenzie will be the performers. maitrisf.org/bliss-2016

    Russ Meyer Meets Hedwig in the Drag Rock Musical, ABOVE AND BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE ULTRA SHOWGIRLS playing April 21–May 14, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 7 pm at Oasis in San Francisco. After sold-out runs in San Francisco and New York, the cult hit drag rock musical Above and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls makes its long-awaited return to San Francisco for 12 nights only! Written by D’Arcy Drollinger (S–t & Champagne, Project: Lohan, Sex and the City Live) along with the post-punk art band Enrique (in which Drollinger was a member) with a mini-stadium rock spectacular, complete with a five piece live band. Fame, sex, gratuitous nudity, drug addiction, prostitution, live go-go girls, rock-n-roll, cat fights, murder, seduction, betrayal…and that’s just in the dressing room. Imagine Russ Meyer, Liberace and Charles Manson collaborating on a rock musical. sfoasis.com

    Flick Picks: Sister Dana highly recommends two comedies that played recently at the Castro Theatre, and might return some day: Academy award nominated Hail Caesar and The Boss, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates, and directed by Ben Falcone.

    Sister Dana sez, “To quote OurFuture.org: ‘Most political eyeballs are understandably transfixed on the Presidential race. But there is much drama brewing in the race for the Senate. And while the unhinged Republican presidential primary may give an impression of a nation gone mad, the way vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents are struggling to hold on to their seats is a reminder that the nation is not in a right-wing mood!”